Austen Kernodle, Assoc. AIA
San Antonio College
This single-family residence seeks to treat people and plants as equal inhabitants of the same space. Just as the humans are free to move about the home, so too are individual plant species able to deploy runners or disperse seeds in search of a place to thrive. Formally, the house is an inverted courtyard. Rather than being trapped within an enclosed court, plants are positioned along the perimeter and given freedom to nestle into or meander away from the house. At the project’s center are four rooms sculpted to produce unique microenvironments, each receiving a varied amount of sun to accommodate a spectrum of ecological diversity. An inverted pyramidal roof opens up the interior to seasonal variations of the site, and an observation platform invites consideration of the horizon and the stars.
“This project is interesting precisely for its level of contradictory agendas: the heavy and the light, the modernist and the vernacular, inside space versus outside space, the primitive and the sophisticated, and the geometric and the natural.”
“The geometric, shifting plan is very well represented through drawing and models, and the techniques of representation work very well together with the geometric ideas of the project.”